I've been fat-shamed by my five-year-old daughter | Rick Jackson

I have a certain admiration for fathers who go above and beyond to make their kid’s special day even more memorable than the one they had already planned.

Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 7:20 pm
Updated Wednesday, 11th August 2021, 7:20 pm
The Fat Controller with Thomas the Tank engine

I admire them even though I can’t but think that dad is a bit unhinged and probably enjoying the day a little too much!

How many birthday parties have your kids been to that, when you arrive, you find the father of the child is dressed as Spider-Man, a character from Harry Potter or a Teletubby?

Thankfully, Freddie has never been a fan of Borat, otherwise that would have been particularly embarrassing, especially if Twister turned out to be one of the birthday games.

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On Monday, our summer holiday took us to a Ropley, a Hampshire village famous for being the headquarters of the Watercress Line. This heritage railway took on the Alton to Alresford line closed by British Rail in 1972 and which once ran to Winchester.

This week it’s Days Out With Thomas, the star being a blue tank engine chuffing up and down the line with other characters from the Rev W Awdry’s series of books and now, of course, the kids’ TV series.

Even though the day was punctuated by downpours, you couldn’t help but get sucked into the fun of The Fat Controller and a plethora of steam and diesel engines running up and down the line.

There were also plenty of fun shows featuring the Fat Controller and his engines, with his staff chasing after want-away locos!

What was also apparent were the number of fathers dressed as the Fat Controller. I felt for the station staff who must have wondered who they needed to report to.

I’m also convinced many of the fathers were enjoying their role a little too much. One dad even blew his whistle to control his children.

As we settled into our carriage and rain poured outside, one Fat Controller removed a pillow from under his shirt, now wet from the heavy shower. ‘That’s not something you’d need to do daddy,’ said my five-year-old daughter Holly. Fat-shamed on Thomas the Tank Engine. Time to diet!

Sun-kissed Isle of Wight is just as good as the Med…

A survey this week found six out of 10 adults do not feel as if they have had a holiday unless they have been abroad.

Perhaps it’s the heat that greets you as you leave the aeroplane or maybe the change of food or culture is what you need?

What I have discovered during the pandemic is even a day trip to the Isle of Wight feels like a trip abroad. The hovercraft is like a plane flight, but only 10 minutes long and sitting outside eating lunch in a pub a stone’s throw from the beach makes it feel like the Costas!

What was better though was 21C – so much easier to handle than 31C.

Sadly, our weather isn’t as reliable as that of the Mediterranean.

Messi’s taken the cash rather than a new playing challenge

What a shame Lionel Messi was motivated by money rather than testing himself in another tough league.

This is why Cristiano Ronaldo shades it for me, as he’s proved himself in England, Spain and now Italy. Messi, for me, is more naturally gifted, but how would he fair in the Premier League? How would he play on a cold, wet Wednesday night in Newcastle or Wolverhampton?

Taking the money and playing in the far less competitive French Ligue 1 at Paris Saint-Germain is just one up from a final pay day in China or America.

What a shame Messi didn’t show the world he’s more about the challenge than the money.

A message from the editor, Mark Waldron.

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